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Strings (2005)

James McAvoy , Catherine McCormack , Anders Rønnow Klarlund  |  PG |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Price: $19.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: James McAvoy, Catherine McCormack, Julian Glover, Derek Jacobi, Ian Hart
  • Directors: Anders Rønnow Klarlund
  • Writers: Anders Rønnow Klarlund, Naja Marie Aidt
  • Producers: Aage Aaberge, Axel Helgeland, Jan Blomgren, Kate Barry, Mike Downey
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: August 16, 2005
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B0009Y260E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,615 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Strings" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Anders Rønnow Klarlund's stunning new film imagines a mythical kingdom populated entirely by stringed puppets. The Emperor of Hebalon dies a dramatic death, taking a terrible secret to the grave with him. His young son, Hal Tara, is set to take over the throne, however, his uncle leads him to believe his father was murdered by the Zeriths, their sworn enemy. Forced to set out to avenge his father's death, Hal is unaware of the perils he is facing, both inside his kingdom and out. As he faces new challenges on this journey, he ends up discovering the truth about his own people - and where he least expects it - he finds true love. A dramatic tale of adventure, bondage and liberation; of love and war, destiny and vitality, identity and common humanity, Strings is a magical blend of themes that range from Shakespeare to Star Wars to The Lord of the Rings.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible October 2, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I promise you, you have never seen anything like this.

The story is a very good fantasy, a young king coming of age among evil advisors. The presentation is marionettes, some of the most wonderful I've ever seen. Each one is beautifully crafted and articulated, and each is a distinct personality. The puppeteering is superb. The figures move beautifully well, even in unusual actions like swimming. They move well even when they close in with each other so much that their strings risk tangling.

What makes this movie unique is the puppets' awareness that they are puppets. The opening scene is a suicide in which one character cuts his own head-strings. Sword-fights center on cutting the other character's strings. Characters are fully aware that they are carved from wood, and subject to the kinds of decay that wood can experience. Even birth consists of a carved, wooden doll, brought to life when - well, you'll have to see for yourself. There's no need for suspension of disbelief, at least at this level: these puppets are clearly and consciously puppets.

All of which leaves a strangely involuted question of free will. The characters all act because of their own impulses, but move only when their strings move them. What connects that will to that motion? I wonder whether this is the sense that puppeteers sometimes get, when the painted wooden characters seem to develop personalities of their own.

There is nothing like "Strings." It's a kid-safe story, but you don't have be a kid to be fascinated.

//wiredweird
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing. Poetic. Moving. January 10, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I guarantee you have never seen anything like this.

This is an epic fairy tale, with kings and princesses and swordfights and quests and romance and betrayal and death and...

...marionettes?

Yup. The whole movie is acted by marionettes with limited facial movement, but seemingly infinite physical limitations.

I was startled by the opening sequence. An elderly king sits over his desk, in the rain, writing a suicide letter to his son. My first thought was that it was a bit over-dramatic to have "rain" on the inside of his castle, but I went with it. As I carefully followed along to his voice-over, about the two warring civilizations and the ability of his son to unify the country, I saw this king raise his sword over his head...

...and cut his head-string. Dead.

I sat goggle-eyed for the next 90 minutes, seeing things I really couldn't believe.

Beautiful shots of strings ascending to the heavens...(I thought, so THAT'S why it was raining indoors. There are no ceilings)...swordfights with warriors aiming for the strings...marionette SURGERY that was horrifying to me, a surgeon!

The plot in and of itself is a fairly standard one: nothing new if you've ever read a classic fairy tale or your basic Shakespeare.

But the addition of these...these "strings'...enables the filmmakers to comment on the nature of God, the connectivity between one another, the fragility of life...even the mischief between two children.

...the birth scene was surprisingly touching. As was a death scene involving a frail old man. The way they re-interpret life and death with "string" theory is simply beautiful.

There is imagination and creativity in this film at a level I don't think I've ever seen.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Unique and Beautiful Movie July 31, 2005
Format:DVD
It was my privilege to see this movie at this year's National Puppetry Festival in Saint Paul, MN. Being a marionette puppeteer myself, the movement that these puppets were able to accomplish astonished me. It is very apparent that Bernd Ogrodnik and the other skilled puppeteers on this movie were extremely passionate about their work. I also found the symbolism and the story interesting, as well. I don't recommend this movie for children, however...it was definitely created for adults. If you are a marionette enthusiast or you're looking for an escape from the usual boring movie experience, watch this movie. It is well worth it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strings you along nicely...... August 31, 2005
Format:DVD
"Strings" is quite a unique and intersting movie going experience. This just happens to be one of those movies I had never heard of before that I ran across doing research, and decided to give it a shot. My biggest problem with "Strings" is that the puppets do not move their mouths, which made it a little hard to follow the dialogue as it switched back and forth between characters. Once your able to get past that - this is really a beautiful little film.

A little over-dramatic but with some pretty high production values, "Strings" is unlike no movie you have seen before.
The cinematography, voice overs, and set designs are well done and very pleasing to watch and to listen to all throughout.

One thing I enjoyed about "Strings" was the how the actual strings were incorporated in the movie. There is no effort to hide them. In fact, the strings themselves are part of each characters actual being, reaching all the way up in to the sky with the "head" string being the strongest and most valuable. Cut the head string, and your dead! Get a little to playful, and you might get tangled and need some help getting undone! Interesting little concept.

Strings is a fantasy story about a King who commits suicide, leaving the throne to his son. When his son is lead to believe by his evil uncle that some outside rebels are responsible for his death, he seeks out to find them and avenge his father. In the process he goes on a magical journey, learning about life, love, war, and the fact that people and things aren't always quite what they seem.

"Strings" is a film that stands on its own two feet- apart from anything else out there. All in all, it's a very impressive piece of work- and a good family oriented film.

Recommended!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A surreal use of marionettes
There is a very short list of live action films that made exclusively with puppets. The Dark Crystal comes to mind as one of the best, and the Thunderbirds films from the 60's come... Read more
Published 7 months ago by SRFireside
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutting the strings of Fate
Here's a perfect example of why genuine creativity & imagination far surpass bloated CGI effects that are momentarily spectacular but hopelessly empty. Read more
Published 9 months ago by William Timothy Lukeman
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie looks amazing
It's not the most original story I've ever seen, but an action/fantasy movie made with puppets is new to me. It's strikingly beautiful and incredibly well done. Read more
Published on September 20, 2012 by J. L. Garrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Strings movie
All I can say is wow! the puppetry on this DVD is just beautiful! great story line. I thought is was just beautiful!
Published on October 6, 2010 by Purple Princess
5.0 out of 5 stars one of a kind
This gem should be appreciated for its beauty and technical feat. I have never seen anything quite like this before and I am proud to have it in my collection.
Published on June 14, 2010 by J. Bult
4.0 out of 5 stars A One of Kind Experience
Other reviewers have commented on how wonderful this film is and they're right. That you can take a movie starring marionettes and direct them in such a way that the audience feels... Read more
Published on December 26, 2009 by Eric Sanberg
4.0 out of 5 stars The eyes have it
The pure and courageous young hero outshines the devious and evil old villain and thus secures happily-ever-after with the beautiful and trusting young princess. Read more
Published on May 18, 2009 by Laurel Drake Major
5.0 out of 5 stars Great show for humanity-minded.
Excellent presentation of philosophic principles in a highly artistic format that was definitely perfected by this group. Read more
Published on January 12, 2009 by Mary G. Gilbert
5.0 out of 5 stars a tale for the ages
Strings is the height of creativity. The movie is visually stunning and beautifully made. It's not just for marionette enthusiasts but is truly enjoyable for everyone!
Published on October 7, 2008 by C. Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtly Theological
As with most fantasy movies, there are many perspectives from which you can watch "Strings". The puppetry, music, movement and visuals are impressive, but for me, that was all... Read more
Published on September 22, 2008 by deeper waters
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